ICC Women's World Cup: Mithali Raj to lead Indian side
BCCI announced the 15-member squad for upcoming ICC Women's World Cup and the Indian side will be skippered by star cricketer Mithali Raj. Rest of the selected players include - Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Punam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht, Sushma Verma, Mansi Joshi, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Nuzhat Parveen, and Smriti Mandhana.
The first Women's Cricket World Cup dates back to 1973 when it was held in England. 9 more World Cups took place ever since, with Australia winning the last one in 2013. Only three countries were able to clinch the World Cup title - Australia (6), England (3), and New Zealand (1). Finishing as runners-up in 2005 was India's best result at the tournament.
The 2017 Women's World Cup (WWC) will take place from 24 June to 23 July, in England and Wales.
The 2017 Women's World Cup will be contested by eight teams in a round-robin format, where each side plays every other team once. While four top-ranked teams qualified automatically from ICC Women's Championship - Australia, England, New Zealand, West Indies, four more teams advanced by playing the World Cup qualifier - India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.
At the end of the Group Stage, top four teams based on points will move into the semis, scheduled to be played in Bristol (18 July) and Derby (20 July). The final will be played at Lord's on 23 July.
Smriti Mandhana, a key player of Indian top order, is set to return to the Indian squad after sustaining a knee injury in January while playing the Big Bash League. Mandhana who last played for India in Women's T20 Asia Cup in Dec 2016, debuted for the country in 2013 and has since played 23 ODIs, 27 T20Is and one Test.
The Indian team currently playing an ODI quadrangular in South Africa looks to be in fine form for the World Cup. The confidence was evident in India's latest match against Ireland where the 19-year-old Deepti Sharma hit a magnificent 188-run knock, to become the second highest scorer in women's ODIs. Further, Deepti along with Poonam Raut set world record with a 320-run opening partnership.